A black pro-life leader's reaction to the election

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Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, emailed me (and then gave me permission to post):

Reading your article brought back most of what I felt after the election. I have never felt so hopeless and depressed. I cried harder than I have since losing my earthly father and hero, Pop, 4 years ago.

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Every time I had even a slight thought about Obama, my eyes welled and I'd find myself on my knees crying out to God. The whole thing really had me going for at almost 3 days, I couldn't shake the feeling of doom for millions of babies... America... the world!

I didn't watch the news. I didn't want to talk to people, not even my husband. I was glad my pro-life (Democrat) son who came home to work and vote McCain/Palin was tied up working on his laptop. I didn't want to put on a happy face for him either....

I couldn't eat! The day after the election I stayed balled up in bed for half the day, which is very unusual for me. I'm usually up at 5am every day, 6am on weekends. I was so terribly sad.

I finally got up and with great panic started searching my Bible for Scripture and I prayed and prayed, face down on the floor. With every prayer and Bible reading I became strengthened, but just a little bit at a time.

Still shaken, I started calling my best and closest pro-life friends. First on my list was Alveda King [pro-life leader and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King]. While she also admitted to a deep sadness, she reminded me we must not limit God. Others I called had similar things to say and offering Scripture.

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If we believe God is who He says He is, then we must also believes He knows who Barack is and what is at stake in an Obama presidency.

GOD has comforted me, mended my heart and strengthened me. I thank my LORD and SAVIOR for such loving sisters and brothers in CHRIST.

And I thank you, Jill. Reading the article this morning reminded me again that we have a big fight ahead of us, but we serve a big God - the BIGGEST!

I am happy God has chosen us to serve in this fight, this great mission.


Comments:

Hmmm...I see such a different contrast in the responses pro-lifers have as opposed to the "other" side when faced with the same circumstances...

I seem to remember when Bush won his 2nd term...a lot of the extreme liberal, Democrats were thinking of migrating to Canada rather than live here in the US and face the incoming "intolerant" administration...

For us, pro-lifers, faced with the same defeat, we choose to stay and fight the good fight...not for ourselves, but for the millions of unborn that will be targetted by the incoming administration's pro-death policies.

Let's keep it up, folks and God Bless.

Posted by: RSD at November 13, 2008 12:11 PM


What an article. Dr King is incredibly aware of how far Obama is from Dr Martin Luther King.

Posted by: xppc at November 13, 2008 12:12 PM


Yes RSD, I remember many liberals wanted to move to Canada and abandon their country. Not very patriotic. Now Canada is the place with the conservative government.

No matter what happens, God remains in control, and Jesus is Lord. I take great comfort in that!

Posted by: Joanne at November 13, 2008 12:26 PM


xppc, Dr. King's why supports Obama. Who really cares how his niece feels?

RSD, Joanne: I remember a month or two ago there was a post on here about how great Stephen Baldwin is for his support of McCain. Stephen Baldwin vowed to leave the United States if Obama won. ...I'm guessing he went back on his word (unfortunately!) since I just saw photos of him and Miley Cyrus at his book signing.

It comes from BOTH sides. You can't really pretend it's only the liberals.

Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 12:33 PM


liberals also didn't complain that the 2004 election signified the literal end of the world, though. And also, where would conservatives migrate to? From what I've heard from Patricia, Canada is a conservative hellhole.

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 12:58 PM


*conservative's hellhole

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 1:00 PM


Josephine,
I care how his niece feels. She has abortion regret just as I do. I have heard her speak. She is amazing!!

Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 1:02 PM


PiP, there really aren't many places more conservative than the US. They're welcome to go check out Saudi Arabia or Iran if they want. :-P

Posted by: Erin at November 13, 2008 1:03 PM


Josephine (what a pretty name I have to say)
I care what Dr. King's neice has to say. I would also care to hear how Mrs. King supports her belief as a Christian woman on the choice side. I didn't realize she was pro choice.

Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 1:15 PM


Erin, true!

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 1:17 PM


How about I re-word. To say "Dr King is incredibly aware of how far Obama is from Dr Martin Luther King." doesn't seem to make sense to me. Since Dr. MLK's wife is proud of and supports Obama... and has said that she is proud he is continuing the works of her late husband.

Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 1:19 PM


I seem to remember when Bush won his 2nd term...a lot of the extreme liberal, Democrats were thinking of migrating to Canada rather than live here in the US and face the incoming "intolerant" administration...

we don't want you!!

As for Day Gardner: What a lovely uplifting message from a true prolifer!

Posted by: Patricia at November 13, 2008 1:22 PM


From what I've heard from Patricia, Canada is a conservative hellhole.
Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 12:58 PM

Not true. Granted for much of our history Canada has had very left leaning governments, but that has changed in the last few years. Obamabots would not like our current government.

Posted by: Joanne at November 13, 2008 1:30 PM



Since Dr. MLK's wife is proud of and supports Obama... and has said that she is proud he is continuing the works of her late husband.
Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 1:19 PM


Are you guys referring to Coretta Scott King? Because, unfortunately, she passed away in 2006

I don't know about pro choice, but she was pro gay rights:

In a speech in November 2003 at the opening session of the 13th annual Creating Change Conference, organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, King made her now famous appeal linking the Civil Rights Movement to the LGBT agenda: "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people. ... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."

Posted by: Hal at November 13, 2008 1:36 PM


Erin and PIP,
If it is all the same with you, I'd like to stay in my country which is neither fault free -past or present. I'd like to try to soften the hearts of those who fight for womens rights so valiantly, but at the expense of the lives of so many unborn and even almost born children. I'd like to vote for those who share my concerns. I'd love to see more Democrats on the Pro Life side. I think to myself sometimes that if President Elect Obama were on our side... with all those who hang on his every word.... man I wish he were on the side of life.

Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 1:37 PM


Hal- I was thinking the same thing. "How is Mrs. King saying anything? I thought she died..."

Posted by: Erin at November 13, 2008 1:37 PM


Joanne, I wouldn't know. But Patricia complains about living there all the time. I just assumed conservatives would hate it. I mean they have icky gay marriage, socialized health care, etc. But, if conservatives want to escape there, that's fine!

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 1:38 PM


Lisa,

It's great you want to stay. All I'm saying is, I'm sure part of the reason some conservatives are freaking out is that unlike liberals, they can't really threaten to move since there are practically no 1st world countries that are more conservative than here.

"I'd love to see more Democrats on the Pro Life side."

Me too! And there are a growing number of us. Unfortunately, when you have people ranting against homosexuals at the March for Life, and people here saying being "pro-gay" is "anti-life," I still don't feel very welcome in the movement. I can't even imagine how pro-life homosexuals would feel if they read that thread.

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 1:42 PM


http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/210357/november-12-2008/cheating-death---women-s-health

All of you anti-BC women will love this. Jill et all check it out, I thought of you watching this and laughing my behind off :)

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 1:49 PM


Obama was a senator, Erin. Coretta Scott King "palled around" (if you will) with the Obama family.

Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 1:51 PM


I realize that, Josephine, it just seemed like everyone was talking about her in the present tense. I was getting confused.

Posted by: Erin at November 13, 2008 1:53 PM


Oh, PiP, I was laughing so hard last night. "Testicular testicularization!"

Posted by: Erin at November 13, 2008 1:54 PM


"Unfortunately, when you have people ranting against homosexuals at the March for Life"

While I am very much against gay marriage and encouraging homosexual behaviour, I must admit that I don't understand the willful exclusion of homosexuals in the March for Life, among other things. As R.C. Sproul says, he will stand up for the unborn hand-in-hand with anyone; Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, etc. And so engaging in homosexual behaviour is sinful, I don't see why it disqualifies them from standing united with us in the fight for the lives of the unborn. I mean, we ALL engage in sinful behaviour. The LDS have all sorts of false beliefs but we will still stand tall with them. It just seems to me that homosexual activity has been put on this "sin of all sin" level, and I don't see what makes it the worst sin of all. It makes it difficult because I love and sympathize deeply with those who have same sex attraction, and it will be very hard to get them to listen or even consider what we have to say if we treat them like lepers.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at November 13, 2008 1:55 PM


Oh, sorry Erin. That's my fault for putting it in the present. :) It mostly had to do with the article I pulled up (just to make sure I was right) was from when she was still alive. Sorry. =/

Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 1:58 PM


PIP I see what you are saying. I can't say that I support gay marraige, but I can't say that I support withholding civil liberties either. I can't say much about it at all without more careful consideration.

Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 2:01 PM


Alveda King is not prochoice. I thought I read that in one of the comments. She is prolife. :)

Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 2:05 PM


"It comes from BOTH sides. You can't really pretend it's only the liberals.

Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 12:33 PM"
============================================
I seem to remember there were MORE Democrats voicing their intent to leave the US than what I'm hearing now...

Patricia...don't worry, I also remember there were record calls to the Canadian embassy about immigration but there were very few actual applications...so those left leaning "extremists" in your neighborhood are home-grown *EG*...

Posted by: RSD at November 13, 2008 2:11 PM


Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 12:33 -RSD, Joanne: I remember a month or two ago there was a post on here about how great Stephen Baldwin is for his support of McCain. Stephen Baldwin vowed to leave the United States if Obama won. ...I'm guessing he went back on his word (unfortunately!) since I just saw photos of him and Miley Cyrus at his book signing.

Stephen's brother ALEC Baldwin(30 Rock) notoriously promised to move 4 years ago if Bush won but stayed also. Stephen is his born again brother who was a McCain supporter.

Posted by: Jeff at November 13, 2008 2:19 PM


RSD-- you probably noticed that because there are more democrats period. Including more democrats famous people (which I assume is where you're hearing it?)

And Jeff, I didn't deny that liberals did it. I said it happened on BOTH sides.

Posted by: Josephine at November 13, 2008 2:22 PM


Bobby 1:55--extremely well said, and it's how I feel as well. Thank you! :)

Posted by: Kel at November 13, 2008 2:35 PM


Josephine- I wasn't commenting on whether they did or not, I just thought it was kinda funny that they both made the same threat. I don't give any credence to what celebrities or rich people think or say. I'd rather consult a Saint or my Church.

Posted by: Jeff at November 13, 2008 2:36 PM


Hey man, you'll just have to hunker down and grit your teeth thru the next 4 (possibly 8) years, the same way we did through Bush. I didn't leave the country, but I did switch states.

I honestly can't negate your panic and stress, because I had the same fears about W. and guess what? Most of them came to pass.

Oh well. To every season...turn, turn.

Posted by: Danielle at November 13, 2008 2:47 PM


What panic? What stress? Not seeing it.

I am reading commitment to the prolife movement and determination to the work that supports it.

Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 3:24 PM


People admitting that days after election they're crying, curled up in bed, seeking solace in family/church, etc because Obama got elected is a sign of panic and stress.

Posted by: Danielle at November 13, 2008 3:29 PM


Carla I'm panicking a little, but I think in the end it might be more helpful. I hope it will be. I've never been so vocal on my life position and I'm finding out that people don't even know that partial birth abortion exists. I can't say it would have swayed them in the election, in fact I don't think it would have. I can say that all those I've told would oppose third trimester abortions, even those who hold choice positions. They are willing to sign petitions to that fact.

Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 3:30 PM


Lisa,
Good for you!!

Posted by: Janet at November 13, 2008 3:33 PM


Jeff @ 2:36 PM,

I don't give any credence to what celebrities or rich people think or say. I'd rather consult a Saint or my Church.

I love it! :-)
I think St. Thomas More is the patron of politicians and lawyers. He was an awesome man.

Posted by: Janet at November 13, 2008 3:35 PM


"I can say that all those I've told would oppose third trimester abortions, even those who hold choice positions. They are willing to sign petitions to that fact."
Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 3:30 PM

That's most of pro-choice America, Lisa. Many people are choice up to a certain trimester and/or take exceptions for the health of the woman or fetus, which is the case in which a 3rd trimester abortion would occur (or late term abortion, which is the medically accurate term).

Posted by: Danielle at November 13, 2008 3:37 PM


Danielle,
I cried for two hours and didn't eat the next day. Then I drove to a university and gave my abortion testimony to a group of students.

Turning to faith, family and friends is a sign of health.
If I am still in bed today and not eating then you could be concerned. :)

Lisa,
Awesome!

Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 3:39 PM


Danielle: "That's most of pro-choice America, Lisa. Many people are choice up to a certain trimester and/or take exceptions for the health of the woman or fetus, which is the case in which a 3rd trimester abortion would occur (or late term abortion, which is the medically accurate term). "

Why?

If the issue is bodily autonomy, "pro-choice America" should support abortions on demand through the third trimester. Why would there be any point of distinction? It goes to show how informed about the issue most poeple are. They are not thinking about it, they are just reacting. It is my belief that if they aligned themselves with logic that many of them would realize it is logical to be pro-life and the rest would end up as pro-choice through the entire pregnancy. Regardless, I truly believe that most Americans would lean right on the issue.

Posted by: Oliver at November 13, 2008 3:43 PM


Danielle, I'm so new to this. Please help me to understand why then if most of pro choice America does not want late term abortions does our government (the peoples government) allow it? And could you give me an example of where the life or health of a mother would be threatened this late in the game? Eclampsia or H.E.L.L.P.S.? Those are the only two that come to mind that threaten mother's life without delivery of child. My sisters were afflicted with these conditions in their pregnancies and both had to have emergency C sections. They may have died if a labor had to be played out....

Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 3:47 PM


Danielle, if you don't mind me asking, do you know of any conditions that could kill or cause grievous bodily harm to the mother and would be cured or treated by getting a late term abortion?

Posted by: Rae at November 13, 2008 3:51 PM


If the issue is bodily autonomy, "pro-choice America" should support abortions on demand through the third trimester. Why would there be any point of distinction? It goes to show how informed about the issue most poeple are. They are not thinking about it, they are just reacting. It is my belief that if they aligned themselves with logic that many of them would realize it is logical to be pro-life and the rest would end up as pro-choice through the entire pregnancy."
Posted by: Oliver at November 13, 2008 3:43 PM

-Are you asking me why I think ppl think the why they do? None of us have that answer. IMO, I think that for many PCs they have a distinct point in their mind (or belief system, if you wish) as to when a baby becomes a baby. No, does not have much to do with logic, it's about emotion and beliefs, as most collective decisions are. I struggle with whether PLs take the right approach when saying, 'if you'd just look at the science and logic then you'd see I'm right'. It may impact law (which is also tempered by public opinion/emotion), but inside of people, many have made up their mind on where they stand.

This is my point when I argue that despite knowing it's a life, it doesn't impact my viewpoint that a woman should ultimately decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy.

Posted by: Danielle at November 13, 2008 4:01 PM


"Danielle, I'm so new to this. Please help me to understand why then if most of pro choice America does not want late term abortions does our government (the peoples government) allow it?"
Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 3:47 PM

That's like having to decide between what you need and what you want. If it's a medically sound procedure with the ultimate goal of either saving or improving one's health - that's what it comes down to. That's like a group saying that having root canals are too painful so we want them banned, and the entire dental community saying, 'yeah but all of your teeth will rot out and it could lead to xyz.' Then a court comes in and says, 'we know it's medically necessary, but the ppl don't like it, so...'

Posted by: Danielle at November 13, 2008 4:05 PM


http://www.rallycongress.com/constitutional-qualification/1244/
NEARING 100,000 SIGNATURES!!!!!
SIGN IT AND SPREAD FAR AND WIDE!!!
http://americamustknow.com/lawsuits.aspx
4 Major Lawsuits are still pending demanding Obama turn of his Birth Certificate
SPREAD IT FAR AND WIDE!!!

Posted by: James at November 13, 2008 4:17 PM


"Danielle, if you don't mind me asking, do you know of any conditions that could kill or cause grievous bodily harm to the mother and would be cured or treated by getting a late term abortion?"
Posted by: Rae at November 13, 2008 3:51 PM

-No. I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be. I am not proficient in medical terminology and won't try to BS you with it. I could spend the next 20-30 min finding medical cases or studies off the internet that demonstrate the extreme and rare need for late term abortion, which would get shot down as propaganda, but I won't.

I DO know that after multiple, personal discussions with doctors I am friendly with and recalling the hearings that took place years ago in DC when the 'Partial Birth Abortion' hearings took place, there are extremely rare and tragic circumstances in which a woman or couple chooses a LTA. Either her health is jeopardized or the fetus/baby is deemed unviable for reasons that you and I are not privy to. In some cases, this was very much a wanted baby and families are left in shambles.

Doesn't sound like much of anyone - doctors included - have much of a desire to have LTAs but for some it is necessary.

And thankfully, medical records are private and we don't get to 'benefit' from dissecting someone's medical chart to find out the hows and whys of a LTA for political gain. That would be a terrible infringement on someone's privacy, even though some on the PL side would gladly dig in to persecute doctors they've deemed as murderers, at the expense of someone else's public humilation and grief.

Posted by: Danielle at November 13, 2008 4:18 PM


Danielle,
You forget there is an innocent child that has to die needlessly. You lost me at root canals.

Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 4:20 PM


If the issue is bodily autonomy, "pro-choice America" should support abortions on demand through the third trimester. Why would there be any point of distinction? It goes to show how informed about the issue most poeple are. They are not thinking about it, they are just reacting. It is my belief that if they aligned themselves with logic that many of them would realize it is logical to be pro-life and the rest would end up as pro-choice through the entire pregnancy. Regardless, I truly believe that most Americans would lean right on the issue.

The issue (at least for me) isn't just bodily autonomy though. It's an issue of rights. I, as a woman, have the right to determine my reproductive choices, which include when and whether to have sex, when and whether to use birth control, and when and whether to continue a pregnancy. That's because it is my body, not yours, and certainly not the governments. To the extent that you or the government would like to force me to continue an unwanted pregnancy, I consider that to be no different than involuntary servitude, which is unconstitutional at best.

On the other hand, as I recognize (and as Roe v. Wade recognized) there comes a point in the course of a pregnancy when the rights of the fetus become more distinct, and when the government can express a legitimate interest in protecting both maternal health as well as the rights of the developing person.

Although PP v. Casey all but obliterated the trimester system recognized in Roe, I think that's still the best way to navigate those competing rights. The first trimester should be all about the rights of the woman, and she should be permitted to abort with no governmental interference whatsoever. During the second trimester, maternal health should be a priority, and any regulations intended to protect maternal health should be allowed. During the third trimester, maternal health and the rights of the developing fetus should take priority.


Posted by: pro-choicer at November 13, 2008 4:42 PM


what about the rights of the UNBORN woman? 50% of abortions are girls!

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at November 13, 2008 5:01 PM


what about the rights of the UNBORN woman? 50% of abortions are girls!

I'm sorry, but I don't think your question makes any sense. I did address the rights of the unborn in my post, which would include both male and female fetuses.

Posted by: pro-choicer at November 13, 2008 5:05 PM


The issue (at least for me) isn't just bodily autonomy though. It's an issue of rights. I, as a woman, have the right to determine my reproductive choices, which include when and whether to have sex, when and whether to use birth control, and when and whether to continue a pregnancy. That's because it is my body, not yours, and certainly not the governments. To the extent that you or the government would like to force me to continue an unwanted pregnancy, I consider that to be no different than involuntary servitude, which is unconstitutional at best.

This IS the bodily autonomy argument.
Your system of trimester rights is unenforcable and still unethical.
The fact is that in the first trimester a unique human person exists. Because of the unique nature of the relationship between the woman and her baby - the baby needs to be protected during all trimesters not just the 3rd trimester. Either it is wrong to kill a human being period. or it is only wrong to kill a human in certain circumstances. And those circumstances will be defined to meet the "needs" of the people who stand to benefit from such a death. This is call utilitarianism.

Posted by: Patricia at November 13, 2008 5:06 PM


Pro-Choicer you are obviously well-versed in stating your position. It's a very well stated position that I don't agree with, but that's why we're here I guess. I need to find out what PP v. Casey is...so you've given me some homework.

Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 5:06 PM


Lisa -

Planned Parenthood v. Casey is the U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1992 that reaffirmed the Roe decision, although it specifically rejected the trimester framework from Roe, and replaced it with an "undue burden" test for abortion regulations.

Posted by: pro-choicer at November 13, 2008 5:09 PM


Thanks for the response Danielle. :)

Posted by: Rae at November 13, 2008 5:16 PM


"If the issue is bodily autonomy, "pro-choice America" should support abortions on demand through the third trimester. Why would there be any point of distinction? It goes to show how informed about the issue most poeple are. They are not thinking about it, they are just reacting. It is my belief that if they aligned themselves with logic that many of them would realize it is logical to be pro-life and the rest would end up as pro-choice through the entire pregnancy. "

Couldn't agree more, Oliver. And as you mention, very few people do follow bodily autonomy to its logical conclusion. They have all these strange hybrid combination of personhood tehories and bodily autonomy that are mutually incompatible. That was what was so honest about SoMG.

"Embryo is 100$ fully human, 100% fully person just like you and me, but can be killed because of bodily ownership- justifiable homicide."

Sick, but consistent.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at November 13, 2008 5:16 PM


Bobby that's just silly, if you don't mind my saying so. There is nothing "logical" about your conclusion regarding bodily autonomy, unless the person making the bodily autonomy argument is saying that bodily autonomy trumps every other right known to man and government.

Which, btw, is not what I'm arguing. I am arguing that there are competing rights at play.

Posted by: pro-choicer at November 13, 2008 5:33 PM


PCer,

"There is nothing "logical" about your conclusion regarding bodily autonomy, unless the person making the bodily autonomy argument is saying that bodily autonomy trumps every other right known to man and government."

Yes, that is correct. See what I said about SoMG above. He believes the unborn is a human person just like you or me, but you can kill it because it is living in the body. Bodily autonomy says that you can directlfuly and willfully kill an innocent person as a means to an end. So I don't know if that's what you're arguing or not; I was just responding to Oliver. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at November 13, 2008 5:41 PM


Ah, yes, SOMG.

Now THAT was a piece of work. The guy is bonkers, but at times entertaining.

BTW, Prochoicer, SOMG was our resident abortionist for over a year. At first he was cryptic and creepy, but as time passed he really opened up. Before we knew it, we were comparing opera critiques and book signing rights.

I consider him to be the true face of prochoicism because he was in the trenches slurping fetuses day in, day out. Didn't hide behind rhetorical flourishes.

As Bobby pointed, SOMG followed prochoice logic to its pathological end and made no apologies.

You can catch him at abortionclinicdays blog. I can assure you he got more stimulating conversation from Jill's blog, hands down.

Posted by: carder at November 13, 2008 8:06 PM


["I have never felt so hopeless anddepressed. I cried harder than I have since losing my earthly father and hero, Pop, 4 years ago."]

["Every time I had even a slight thought about Obama,my eyes welled and I'd find myself on my knees crying out to God. Thewhole thing really had me going for at almost 3 days, I couldn't shakethe feeling of doom for millions of babies... America... the world!"]

Wow, what drama... Yawn.

Posted by: Therence at November 13, 2008 10:09 PM


Bobby,

I dont think I have told you this before, but I think its fitting to mention it here. You are a very inteligent man, and a credit to the pro-life movement and I respect you very much. Please dont take this to imply that I feel differently about anyone else here. I only need to mention it because of how succinctly you grasped the idea and how you so eloquently asserted it.

With that out of the way....

PC: "The issue (at least for me) isn't just bodily autonomy though. It's an issue of rights. I, as a woman, have the right to determine my reproductive choices, which include when and whether to have sex, when and whether to use birth control, and when and whether to continue a pregnancy. That's because it is my body, not yours, and certainly not the governments. To the extent that you or the government would like to force me to continue an unwanted pregnancy, I consider that to be no different than involuntary servitude, which is unconstitutional at best."

I dont think you know what the right to bodily autonomy means. You just said...in a nutshell, "To me the issue isnt the right to bodily autonomy, but the issue is that I have the right to the autonomy of my body" and then you threw out the ever so oftenly regurgitated sound bites. ("ITS MY BODY NOT YOURS, ZING!!!" Try telling that to the man who wants to masturbate in a preschool/etc)


"Bobby that's just silly, if you don't mind my saying so. There is nothing "logical" about your conclusion regarding bodily autonomy, unless the person making the bodily autonomy argument is saying that bodily autonomy trumps every other right known to man and government."

This is what the pro-choice movement is essentially asserting. Of course, when you call them on it, they shift ideas.


"On the other hand, as I recognize (and as Roe v. Wade recognized) there comes a point in the course of a pregnancy when the rights of the fetus become more distinct, and when the government can express a legitimate interest in protecting both maternal health as well as the rights of the developing person. "

So at what point does a preborn all of a sudden become a person?

When it can contribute to society? Well I dont think newborns, or for that matter, infants do a very good job of that either. I suppose that means they are not people either.

When it becomes self aware! Well, again, newborns dont develop this distinction until much later in their lives...somewhere around 8 months if I remember correctly. Are we okay then to kill a newborn when it becomes an inconvenience?

Uhm...when it develops some basic brain power, even if it isnt self aware! Well...does this mean we extend personhood to 99% of all animals? Or how about we just extend personhood to the animals that exactly match or surpass the mental facilities of a preborn/newborn. If we do that we find that dolphins, chimps, some parrots arguably, octupi, etc are definitely going to have personhood. We will have to report chimp mothers for child abuse when they throw poop at their babies!

See, what you are doing is what is called "post-rationalization." This goes to you too Danielle. We all fall victim to it from time to time, especially when developing morals. In fact, a reasonably large amount of our morals were and still are derived this way.

Post-rationalization is when you decide a conclusion, for whatever arbitrary or even refutable reason, and then work the justification backwards.

Both sides are guilty of doing this.

The prolife side says "Hey obviously these are babies. Something feels just WRONG about killing them, or letting someone else kill them."

The prochoice side says "Well, women clearly have the rights to their own bodies, something they had to fight for across the years and cultures. Something feels just WRONG about not letting them control what is inside their womb."

I used to intuitively feel that it was "wrong" for a woman to be "forced" to carry a child that was the product of rape.

The problem is that both sides are making appeals to intuition intially. What I have done since I made all the basic appeals to intuition is try to "backtrack" my logic to OTHER premises that I hold true across OTHER morals. When I did this, I figured that abortion is certainly wrong both from the "bodily autonomy" route, (or as the prochoice side loves to spout as they contort their bodies,"MY BODY MY BODY") and also from the "personhood" route (or as the oh so informed intelectuals say "its not a human/alive, its a lump of cells.")

For instance, lets take the intuitive appeal that a baby develops its rights as it develops. You want to claim that a certain trimester makes the mark of when the baby has rights of its own. "Backtrack" your statement to a general premise. Your general premise is that personhood is a function of development. If this is a true statement, you would have to follow your premise to the idea that either certain kinds of humans, such as the mentally handicapped, the comatose, or infants, would be excluded OR that certain animals types would be in fact persons,( which would be cool, itd be like a Disney movie.)

Im sure you do not hold either of those other premises, that some animals are people, or that some people are animals, so you have to understand that by backtracking from your morals you have developed a paradox of sorts. The only question for you now is to truly question which member of the paradox is incorrect.


For example, I backtracked out of my belief that a sacrifice of a woman's bodily domain is justified to develop the moral premise that a parent, or guardian of some sort, owes in part their rights to the child. It sounds cruel to state it so explicitly, but think about it. A parent must provide shelter/food and the other basic expected necessities of life. This requires a parent to sacrifice, in part mind you, of their rights to privacy/preoperty/etc. This led me to understand that even though the mother is at NO possible fault of her own when the pregnancy results from rape, it doesnt matter. That human being inside her deserves the right to not be neglected just the same as any other child or indigent. So I dropped the "except in cases of rape" plank to my belief system.

Anyways, I could keep going, but Im sure you already stopped reading. I think my dearth of posts has compelled me to let loose on the subject.

The point, (and I wish I knew how to make this sentence bold), is that you have to carefuly consider your own moral beliefs when it comes to something so critical as human life. If you are not sure, certainly I would think that you would err on the side of "killing nothing," which is the pro-life side. Do not post-rationalize your beliefs. Its okay to trust your intuition, but check to see what the implications are of your beliefs and consider if they are truly justified. SOMG, whatever his mores, was very good at exploring these ideas. He ultimately ended with the belief that abortion at any stage is acceptable because the preborn has no right to be in the mother's womb, and the mother has no obligation to provide shelter or food in the form of her body.

Sorry for the long post...

Oh by the way...

Danielle : "I struggle with whether PLs take the right approach when saying, 'if you'd just look at the science and logic then you'd see I'm right'."

I love how the Prochoice movement develops. We are the nutjobs if we claim that religion is the reason abortion is wrong, and we should use science and logic to see why abortion is right. Then when we use science and logic to prove why abortion is wrong, they say we should look deep down inside our hearts (not physically, but spiritually I suppose) to see why abortion is right.

I guess we should celebrate when the pro-choice side starts to admit that the logical approach is bad. Maybe we are finally starting to make headway with this whole science and logic business.

Posted by: Oliver at November 13, 2008 11:27 PM


"We are the nutjobs if we claim that religion is the reason abortion is wrong, and we should use science and logic to see why abortion is right. Then when we use science and logic to prove why abortion is wrong, they say we should look deep down inside our hearts (not physically, but spiritually I suppose) to see why abortion is right."

Well said!

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 13, 2008 11:48 PM


We are the nutjobs if we claim that religion is the reason abortion is wrong, and we should use science and logic to see why abortion is right.

Oliver, I don't say you're a "nutjob." There are some nutjobs on this board, but you ain't one of 'em. "Science" isn't involved in the right/wrong/good/bad of a thing in the moral sense, and there has to be some desire present before any logic applies.
.....


Then when we use science and logic to prove why abortion is wrong, they say we should look deep down inside our hearts (not physically, but spiritually I suppose) to see why abortion is right.

We all make unprovable assumptions. The "heart" isn't going to agree, all the time, from person to person.

You can't use "science," as above. Science doesn't care on way or the other. And, also as above, logic only can be applied once we set out what's desired in the first place.

Posted by: Doug at November 13, 2008 11:55 PM


Doug,

You are right in a certain sense. I didnt mean to imply that you can use science solely to prove a moral. What I meant is that we use science as evidence upon which to justify, or properly correlate our other morals.

Ultimately you are right in the sense that we make all morals based on underlying assumptions. However, dont you see something inherently wrong with two separate morals based on conflicting assumptions? To me it seems to be a duty for us elevated humans to ensure that our personal morals are at the very least consistent. Think about how you developed your morals when you were a child. Certainly you were taught by someone or something the basic morals, but just as surely you encountered a few paradoxes yourself and had to navigate them through not only an appeal to intuition, but also an appeal to consistency.

Take for example the idea that "things that make me happy are morally good." When we were children, this was obvious. Its a good or right thing to make yourself happy, to pleasure yourself. However, this moral quickly runs into opposition when you consider stealing from your friend. If you steal from him it makes him sad, and you surely realize this is a bad or wrong thing. However, it also makes you happy to have the toy he has. At this point you begin to qualify your original believes, and you realize that "things that make me happy are good, as long as they are not at the expense of others."

And so on and so on.

Eventually you must have run into scenarios where you have two morals based on conflicting assumptions that you had to rectify by dropping one entirely.

Here is an example that I personally went through as a teenager.

"It is moral to execute someone if they did a heinous enough of a crime."

"Everyone deserves every chance possible to know God and therefore find salvation as long as that chance does not directly violate another's fundamental human rights."

I believed both of those things until I really considered the ramifications. Either I need to add an execption to the second rule, or I need to eliminate the first rule entirely. When I backtracked the morals from the first intuitive appeal, I realized that the underlying principle was the old system of retributive justice which in this case runs in direct conflict with my second moral. Not only that, retributive justice does not jibe with any other moral system I hold. When I realized this, I had to drop the idea that the Death Penalty was justifed.

This is the process that I encourage every American to undergo as they decide such weighty issues as life and death. Too many Americans react to gut feelings that at times run contrary to any logic system that they hold.

I believe that for the most part we hold the same moral beliefs. Certainly they are base assumptions, but I believe that since we hold the same base assumptions that it is logical to arrive at the same conclusions. Since we are arriving at different conclusions, it is necessary to analyze where we separate on base assumptions. Almost ever "assumed" moral still relies on some other principle. If we analyze these principles we can find where the deviation occurs. I would be fine if both sides identifed the deviation, and if both sides were presented to every American to choose. The problem is that so many people just react even when contradicting themselves. (Preborns are persons, but newborns are for example. There is no difference other than location...)

I truly believe that if every American sat and meditated on the idea with full disclosure of all the logic involved in both sides, that most people would choose pro-life planks.

Posted by: Oliver at November 14, 2008 12:17 AM


"Preborns are persons" should read as "Preborns are not persons" for the sake of clarity...

Posted by: Oliver at November 14, 2008 12:26 AM


Great post, Oliver.

Crazy for me to be up, since I've gotta get up again in 3.5 hours....

I believe that for the most part we hold the same moral beliefs. Certainly they are base assumptions, but I believe that since we hold the same base assumptions that it is logical to arrive at the same conclusions. Since we are arriving at different conclusions, it is necessary to analyze where we separate on base assumptions. Almost ever "assumed" moral still relies on some other principle. If we analyze these principles we can find where the deviation occurs.

I've said for years that we all make unprovable assumptions and that it's where they diverge that the arguments begin.

I'd say that you assume that life, per se, is more important than suffering and the liberty of the woman.

I'm not advocating miscarriage here - I know that it can be a tragic and terrible thing for some people, but for example - I'd rather see thousands of zygotes fail to implant rather than have exist the suffering which we find in some individual lives.
.....


I also hear you on the "revenge" part of capital punishment. I used to be more for the death penalty than I am now. Since it's more costly to go through the appeals process than actually execute somebody in most states, I don't worry about the absence of the DP if it's not used in a given state.

To pick another example for illustration - there have been cases where a child killer/abuser is arrested/imprisoned, then released for whatever reasons, only to abuse/kill another kid.

"Everyone deserves every chance possible to know God and therefore find salvation as long as that chance does not directly violate another's fundamental human rights."

You know I don't share your religious beliefs nor your perception of "fundamental" rights, but in the case of the repeat child abuser/killer, I'd much rather not have worried about what "chance" he deserved since he went on to violate another's rights.

I realize it's with hindsight, and that beforehand we usually can't know with much certainly what somebody will do, but again - I'd rather have the perpetrator fried right away or locked up forever versus having him re-offend.

Anyway, Good Night.

Posted by: Doug at November 14, 2008 1:33 AM


"I dont think I have told you this before, but I think its fitting to mention it here. You are a very inteligent man, and a credit to the pro-life movement and I respect you very much."

I'm flattered, Oliver :)

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at November 14, 2008 6:15 AM


Oliver,

"For example, I backtracked out of my belief that a sacrifice of a woman's bodily domain is justified to develop the moral premise that a parent, or guardian of some sort, owes in part their rights to the child.[...]A parent must provide shelter/food and the other basic expected necessities of life. This requires a parent to sacrifice, in part mind you, of their rights to privacy/preoperty/etc. This led me to understand that even though the mother is at NO possible fault of her own when the pregnancy results from rape, it doesnt matter. That human being inside her deserves the right to not be neglected just the same as any other child or indigent. So I dropped the "except in cases of rape" plank to my belief system."

Isn't what they owe owed because of what they chose to do (ie. have a child) and not because of what the child is?

If there is no choice, why should there be an obligation?

(NOTE: I should mention that my own personal beliefs hold consent to be a crucial component of obligation.)

Posted by: Enigma at November 14, 2008 10:56 AM


Enigma :"Isn't what they owe owed because of what they chose to do (ie. have a child) and not because of what the child is?"

No they owe what they owe because of societal obligation.

Take for example general indigents. Im sure that we can all agree that the government is responsible for the mentally ill, or the homeless. This is not because Government made a choice to create these people, but because of the general social contract that we all prescribe to.

In other words, even if someone drops a baby on my doorstep and its not my fault at all, I am now responsible to find this baby a new home. If that means I just take it to the police station, it is still my responsibility, of no fault of my own other than my membership in human society.

But lets expand the idea further...

What if a mother is raped, and doesnt know she is pregnant (this happens, even if it is ever so rarely). Lets say she suddenly realizes she is giving birth and has the baby in her home right there. Wouldnt you agree that if she dumped the child in a trash can that she would still be responsible for the child? I would argue that even though the baby did not come from her actions that she is the default care giver, and is thus responsible until she can find a suitable alternative.

In this sense, even when a woman is raped, the unfortunate reality must follow that she is the default care giver and thus responsible for this human life until she can provide an suitable alternative (adoption.)

-----------------------------------------------

Here is another way to tackle the issue. Rape forces two bodies, the mother and preborn, together through no choice or responsibilty of either the mother or the preborn. The fault lies with the rapist, who is really in no way connected to the pregnancy once he is finished harming the mother. This scenario is analogous to a horrible car accident caused by a malevolent driver.

Imagine two people joined through the abdomen by a sign post. Imagine also that one of the victims is in a more critical situation than the other. Victim one is in serious pain, but victim two is in serious danger. In fact, if the doctors remove either patients from the sign post immediately, victim two would die, whereas victim one would not. However, if the doctors wait on the surgical specialist, and take their time with a very fastidious, and therefore slow, procedure to remove both patients from the post, both patients will live.

In essence, the most expedient method to remove the violation to victim one's rights would certainly end the life of victim two. If the doctors take the method to save the life of victim two, victim one will have his or her right to bodily autonomy escerbated. Certainly no one here is at fault, and certainly we would never argue that anyone should undergo pain simply to help someone else life. However, when both victims are conjoined in such a fashion, and both rights are directly in conflict with each other, and there is a method to ensure the least overall violation of rights, wouldnt it seem logical and ethical to take the second method and wait for the specialist to save everyone's life, even if its at the partial extension of a violation one patients right to bodily domain?

I would think so.

In other words, yes rape is awful and the mother isnt at fault, but neither is the preborn and if the mother has her way, the preborn dies, and if the preborn "has its way" so to speak and has its right upheld, the mother has a temporary violation to her right to bodily autonomy. Considering also that the mother is the default caregiver in this case, I think it is obvious what would be the moral stance.

Now of course, all that disolves if you decide, arbitrarily or not (but probably arbitratily), that a preborn has fewer rights than a newborn.

Posted by: Oliver at November 14, 2008 11:22 AM


"victim one will have his or her right to bodily autonomy escerbated."

should read...

"victim one will have the violation to his or her right to bodily autonomy exacerbated"

For clarity and spelling...

Posted by: Oliver at November 14, 2008 11:28 AM


I, as a woman, have the right to determine my reproductive choices, which include when and whether to have sex, when and whether to use birth control, and when and whether to continue a pregnancy.
******

Wrong pro-choicer. Am I to understand that taking responsibility for your actions enter into it with you? Sorry but you live in a society where you are required to respectthe lives of others. Once you may the "choice" to spead your legs and ask for it then you need to take responsibility for the results of your actions which in this case can involve the creation of a new life. Your choice was to engage in consentual intercourse with knowledge that your actions could produce a new life. Terminating your pregnacy effects a life other than your own so society (and you) has a responsibility to protect that life. You sound more anti-life then you do pro-choice.

Posted by: truthseeker at November 14, 2008 1:35 PM


Oliver -

You made a lot (a whole lot!) of points, and I'm sure that I'm going to miss a few things, but I did want to respond to you.

You're correct, my paragraph on bodily autonomy is poorly worded. What I was hoping to get across was that my bodily autonomy isn't the only issue. My right to bodily autonomy is in competition with the rights of the government to regulate on behalf of maternal health and of the developing fetus.

And I know that you all like to mock the "my body, my choice" phrase, but it's true. It is my body, and I get to choose my reproductive fate (well, to the extent that my physicality allows me to do so, I suppose if I were infertile, there wouldn't be any choices to make).

I don't believe I'm reasoning backwards here. I'm reasoning forwards from the standpoint that I have the right to determine my reproductive future.

And yes, to the extent that it has to do with pregnancy, I do believe that personhood is a product of development. Do I believe that a zygote has rights that compete with or trump mine? A morula? A blastula? A blastocyst? Heck no. Something that is accurately described as a clump of mostly undifferentiated cells is not a person. It is a potential only. On the other hand, I am a fully developed person. My rights at that point are paramount.

The thing is, we all have rights as citizens under our constitution. A lot of government and law is figuring out how to balance those rights against each other so that everyone gets a certain amount of free exercise without infringing on someone else. That's what the abortion controversy is to me. It's a balancing of my rights against the rights of the developing fetus. At a certain point, my rights trump everyone else's, and as the pregnancy progresses, the scales slowly tip in the other direction.

You can tell me that you think I am reasoning backwards, but I disagree. I'm beginning from the standpoint of rights, and trying to move forward and balance from there.

Posted by: pro-choicer at November 14, 2008 2:50 PM


I feel Oliver that the posts you gave are food for thought to those pro-choicers who have an open mind and I pray they will meditate on what you have said. Unfortunately, those who have sworn allegiance to the pro-death agenda will probably not care. I had the blessing of growing up in a Christian, African American, pro-life, two-parent home. As I grew up I had great conversations with my grandmother. She explained to me that although her grandmother was raped at will by her slave-master and gave birth to his children (she was his cook by the way) she loved and protected her "mulatto" children as much as could. She even would go to bat for her children when he would try to treat them like the other slaves, she would tell him "these are your children, get your other slaves to fan you and your friends". Her children were not considered "parasites" or her enemies because of the circumstances of their conception. Pro-choicers could argue she had no choice but to have her babies, (I would bet that there were ways for her to abort her babies if she had really wanted to) but my grandmother told me her grandmother loved her babies. They were NOT constant reminders to her of the way they were conceived but they were her innocent, precious babies. Pro-choicers have insisted for years we need to keep abortion legal so children of rape (which are less than 1% of abortions by the way) won't "punish" their mothers by being constant reminders of how they were conceived, so instead mothers have the right to "punish" their babies by mutilating them in the womb. So the entire A.A. population in this country who are descendants of slaves, by the pro-choicers standard should justifiably be wiped out by a "woman's right to choose", because we are the products of the rapes of our great-great grandmothers. The irony that A.A. "Christians" voted overwhelmingly for the most pro-abortion President ever elected in this country, is as distressing to me as it is to Day Gardner. God help us.

Posted by: Save the Babies at November 14, 2008 2:51 PM


If you believe YOUR rights should trump those of others (especially those of the unborn), does it seem odd that these virtues are so highly regarded by so many people?

*Prudence
proper judgement of reasons for action with regard to appropriateness in a context

*Justice
proper judgement regarding individual human interests, rights and desserts

*Restraint or Temperance
practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation

*Courage or Fortitude
forbearance, endurance, and ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation

*Faith
steadfastness in belief

*Hope
expectation of good

*Love or Charity
selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness

Posted by: Janet at November 14, 2008 3:07 PM


Oliver,

I may have to concede the point with your first case. I would, however, argue that the rights still stem from consent; by consenting to live within a society, one is consenting to uphold the laws of that society. Those laws include certain obligations to other individuals.

I think that your second case is somewhat problematic.

Rape doesn't force two bodies together (assuming it results in pregnancy), it violates one and creates another(this I would dispute--an embryo is not a body, just as an acorn is not tree). The creation of another (I'm going with your uses for the moment because I don't think you meant body in the literal sense) is only at further violation of the the woman's rights. A pregnancy without consent is, in my opinion, always a violation.

I would further argue that an abortion is not a violation of anyone's rights, if you assume that the z/e/f has human rights (this I dispute up to a certain point). No human has the right to physically impose upon another, even if that imposition is necessary for life. I see no reason why entities in the womb should be granted rights that humans do not possess.

Your pole analogy is somewhat problematic as well (do you, by any chance, watch Grey's Anatomy). First off, I don't think an accident and a pole really violates rights. For a violation to occur, according to my understanding of the term there must be some form of perpetrator. The pole cannot be considered a perpetrator. In addition, if you were to hold that the pole does violate rights, both people's rights are being violated equally. Thus the restoration of either of their rights would not take precedence over the restoration of the other.

Posted by: Enigma at November 14, 2008 3:11 PM


No Janet, that doesn't seem odd at all. I htink that as a society, we've learned that encouraging the development of those virtues tends to benefit us all. On the other hand, there are some situations where the rights of different people (whether virtuous or not) come into competition with each other. I guess I'm not really sure what your point is.

And, you may have noticed that I'm not arguing that my rights trump everyone else's at all times.

Posted by: pro-choicer at November 14, 2008 3:18 PM


PC: "And I know that you all like to mock the "my body, my choice" phrase, but it's true. It is my body, and I get to choose my reproductive fate (well, to the extent that my physicality allows me to do so, I suppose if I were infertile, there wouldn't be any choices to make)."

I dont think you actually read anything I said. My body, my choice has obvious limitations. I dont have the "right" to my body is I am smuggling drugs. Certainly you can chose your reproductive fate up to the point that it violates someone elses rights.


PC: "I don't believe I'm reasoning backwards here. I'm reasoning forwards from the standpoint that I have the right to determine my reproductive future."

Okay, lets address that idea then. Here is an analogy. I have the right to my "transportation future" in that I can drive my car where I want. Does that mean I can drive my car on the wrong side of the road? Does it mean I can run over pedestrians who block my "transportation future?"

Of course not. So why does labeling abortion "reproduction future" make it exempt from the same exceptions?

I dont want to limit your reproductive future entirely by any means. I just want to apply the same rules and exemptions to that right that we apply to all rights, that you dont necessarily have your right when it is in direct violation of another's.

PC: "And yes, to the extent that it has to do with pregnancy, I do believe that personhood is a product of development. Do I believe that a zygote has rights that compete with or trump mine? A morula? A blastula? A blastocyst? Heck no."

You claim you are not post rationalizing, so why dont you carry your belief to the logical conclusions? If you believe personhood is a product of development, then surely you beleive that the comatose/mentally handicapped/newborns are devoid of rights correct? They do not have the developed mental capacities that you deem to grant personhood.

Or else you think that hundreds of species of animals should have personhood and be in fact equal to humans.

Why did you avoid that question? Oh right...I forgot you qualified your post with the statement that you couldnt possibly respond to everything I said. Thats typically code for "You said some things that I dont know how to respond to, so I am going to pick and choose."

(Bobby...As much as I enjoyed SOMG brutal logic, I have to say that he did tend to avoid the same complications...)

PC: " Something that is accurately described as a clump of mostly undifferentiated cells is not a person. It is a potential only. On the other hand, I am a fully developed person. My rights at that point are paramount."

Why? Why do you have those rights? Again, you claim that you are not post-rationlizing, so explain to me the basic premise you are using and of course the obvious additional conclusions that come from that premise.

PC: "The thing is, we all have rights as citizens under our constitution. A lot of government and law is figuring out how to balance those rights against each other so that everyone gets a certain amount of free exercise without infringing on someone else. That's what the abortion controversy is to me. It's a balancing of my rights against the rights of the developing fetus. At a certain point, my rights trump everyone else's, and as the pregnancy progresses, the scales slowly tip in the other direction."

This makes no sense. Is there a specific "personhood" equation I dont know about? When I become elderly and start to lose my wits, at what point is my mental capacity going to reduce me to the rights of an animal? If I get into a car accident and enter a comatose state...what brain wave activity exactly constitutes "personhood?"

Its obvious to me that personhood is obtained and retained throughout a human life, whether it is a preborn or a coma victim.

Has anyone heard of Occam's razor?


Posted by: Oliver at November 14, 2008 10:30 PM


Enigma:

"I may have to concede the point with your first case. I would, however, argue that the rights still stem from consent; by consenting to live within a society, one is consenting to uphold the laws of that society. Those laws include certain obligations to other individuals."

Alright, well lets use that same concept to apply to rape. By living in society we are consenting to agreeing to the concept of the "social contract" requiring us to take certain responsiblities, even at no direct consent or fault of our own. Take again the example of the doorstep baby or the homeless. Our Government is responsible for indigents by default. A baby left under my care, even if by no direct consent of my own, is under my reponsiblity by proof of my consent to live in society and abide by the "social contract."

Enigma: "I think that your second case is somewhat problematic.

Rape doesn't force two bodies together (assuming it results in pregnancy), it violates one and creates another(this I would dispute--an embryo is not a body, just as an acorn is not tree)."

You are missing my analogy. The two humans are conjoined together under the will of neither.


Enigma: "The creation of another (I'm going with your uses for the moment because I don't think you meant body in the literal sense) is only at further violation of the the woman's rights. A pregnancy without consent is, in my opinion, always a violation."

Later in the argument you bring up the problems associated with the word "violation," so from this point forward I think we should use the word "infringement."

There is no question that a preborn is infringing on the mother's rights. There is also no question that an unwanted preborn is a further infringement of the rights of the mother post rape. However, you have to understand that the preborn did not ask to be created either. In a certain sense it is in a predicament as well.


Enigma: "I would further argue that an abortion is not a violation of anyone's rights, if you assume that the z/e/f has human rights (this I dispute up to a certain point). No human has the right to physically impose upon another, even if that imposition is necessary for life."

Here are a few examples explaining why that is wrong.

Number one, no human has the right to impose themselves upon another's property. Yet, a parent who decides to excersize their property rights to remove their child into the backyard is in violation of that child's rights to not be neglected.

In other words, certainly we cannot randomly infringe upon each other, but parents owe a certain obligation to their children. They cannot neglect them, even at the partial sacrifice to the parent's rights.

Why would it be any different for a pregnant woman? Certainly she owes in part her rights to the preborn as well. In other words, she needs to provide food and shelter to the preborn. This does not require a sacrifice to property in the case of the care of an infant, but it does require in part the sacrifice to bodily autonomy.

A mother who refuses to feed her child breast milk from her body would be neglecting her child. If she cannot provide the food through any other means, then she needs to either give up the child to suitable care or to provide the milk herself. In other words if she decides to simply withhold her body from the child, she is guilty of neglect.

This is important to consider in light of the idea that it is NOT neglect to not be able to afford to feed your children.

Also, consider the case of conjoined twins Bill and Ted. These two twins have decided that they want to be separated. Bill is the "strong" twin and can survive after separation in any circumstance. However, Ted is the "weak" twin and needs a certain kind of surgery to survive separation. The second surgery requires both twins to undergo greater recovery time. However, the first surgery as stated above would kill Ted. It is obvious what the ethical decision is here. The second surgery protects the most life, although it infringes on Bill a little more.


PC: "I see no reason why entities in the womb should be granted rights that humans do not possess."

Human children do, as do other humans as explained above. The best example is the prosecution of a mother who withheld her breast milk to the point of the death of her newborn. Obviously her body, in part, belonged to the child.

Enigma: "Your pole analogy is somewhat problematic as well (do you, by any chance, watch Grey's Anatomy)."

No, but the analogy was roughly based on a real example. I imagine that Grey's Anatomy used the same real life example to create their story.

Enigma: "First off, I don't think an accident and a pole really violates rights. For a violation to occur, according to my understanding of the term there must be some form of perpetrator."

If this is the interpretation, then a preborn is also in no way violating the mother's womb. You cannot claim that a preborn has a will to perpetrate with.

However, we can claim that in both cases there is a clash of rights, and issues involving infringment.

Enigma: "The pole cannot be considered a perpetrator."

Again, neither can a preborn.

Enigma: "In addition, if you were to hold that the pole does violate rights, both people's rights are being violated equally."

Reread what I wrote. One of the girls can separate immediately, but only at the death of the other girl, whereas the second girl needs to stay connected to the other girl through the pole until the specialist can separate them both safely.

Enigma: "Thus the restoration of either of their rights would not take precedence over the restoration of the other. "

I suggest that you do reread the example I presented. You may be using the Grey's Anatomy example as your basis. I am explicitly pointing out that one girl needs the other girl temporarily to survive.

Posted by: Oliver at November 14, 2008 11:09 PM


Oliver-

You don't think I read anything you wrote? Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you not reading what I wrote :-)

It's really too late to answer all of that tonight, but I will make one observation. You seem to want to argue from analogy, but unfortunately none of your analogies actually apply or really relate to the context of the abortion controversy.

Posted by: pro-choicer at November 14, 2008 11:46 PM


PC :"It's really too late to answer all of that tonight, but I will make one observation. You seem to want to argue from analogy, but unfortunately none of your analogies actually apply or really relate to the context of the abortion controversy."

Okay, if we can throw conclusions out without supporting them with premises to generate the pretext of an argument, then I too will make an observation.

Well one thing for sure is that you have to send me 4000 dollars in the mail before Dec 1. Thats for sure. Too late to back it up though...see you later!

If you want to start an argument, please provide some premises to support that idea. Either that, or just wait to post till later.

By the way, every philosopher, both pro-choice and pro-life, and anything else, "argues through analogy" as you put it. How else can we understand how our mores are constructed? Otherwise we just say "Yeah abortion is moral. Why? Cuz it is."

Even without analogy though, it is clear that your beliefs are not consistent. Your general principle is that a human "develops" personhood as they age. My question is what is the acceptable level of facility to grant personhood? My next question is how does it apply to animals, plants and other humans?

You have to be consistent, even if you dont want to use an analogy. Apply your principles consistently.

Posted by: Oliver at November 15, 2008 8:21 AM


You're formidable, Oliver.

How about starting your own online logic course with special emphasis on the prochoice fallacy?

You could use some extra income, couldn't you?

Oh, my bad. We just elected the American Idol Nanny State, so you don't have to "worry about putting gas in your car...you don't have to worry about paying your mortgage. If you take care of him, he's gonna take care of you."

Posted by: carder at November 15, 2008 8:30 AM


By the way, every philosopher, both pro-choice and pro-life, and anything else, "argues through analogy" as you put it. How else can we understand how our mores are constructed? Otherwise we just say "Yeah abortion is moral. Why? Cuz it is."

Oliver, it's not hard to see how our mores are constructed, frequently.

You more want the unborn life to continue, and I more want women to retain the freedom they now have.

Posted by: Doug at November 15, 2008 6:54 PM


The so-called "right to choose" to abort African American babies has NOT brought freedom to A.A. women but bondage. Instead of being enslaved to white slavemasters, my people are in bondage to promiscuous, dangerous sexual behaviors, epidemic proportions of STDs, sky-rocketing out-of wedlock birthrates (from 20% before the 1970s to now 2/3rds of births are out of wedlock), absentee, irresponsible baby daddy's, vile rappers who degrade black women and even black women degrading themselves, self-hatred because if you think you can act like an animal and your babies are nothing more than a blob that can be mutilated whenever they are not convenient then you will we will never know real dignity, respect and true freedom. All the sacrifices that were made by our foreparents were made for nothing when the womb of A.A women is the most dangerous place on earth for a Black baby to be. You will never see poverty, child abuse and violence abated because abortion is the ultimate form of child abuse. Little black children are being told "I should have aborted you" in the heat of arguments and they know their mothers seriously considered it. What a shameful legacy for the most pro-abortion president to ever be elected in this nation to be a black man. My grandmother would weep not with pride and joy but with shame because she always taught us "we don't kill our babies, they are precious and innocent, no matter how they are conceived or how poor we are".

Posted by: Save The Babies at November 15, 2008 10:22 PM


A bunch of ridiculous hyperbole.

The birthrate for blacks has been higher than that for whites.

A black woman has an unwanted pregnancy. You don't seriously think she's going to be worried about people ranting and raving like you did, do you?

Posted by: Doug at November 15, 2008 11:50 PM


Doug: "Oliver, it's not hard to see how our mores are constructed, frequently.

You more want the unborn life to continue, and I more want women to retain the freedom they now have. "

But why? We are on either side dealing with a weighty issue. It is both life versus death and autonomy versus obligation. If I say I am right, I am essentially advocating the notion that a mother does not have full autonomy in the face of her preborn child, which would as you put it, put restraints on her freedom. If you are right, you are saying that the preborn child does not deserve the right to be nourished and sheltered by its mother to the point of death.

In either case we cannot so capriciously say "well ultimately I believe it just because" as you seemed to suggest.

Certainly you value justifying your beliefs when they are so serious. I would also think that anyone would hate to live in a world where human rights are determined by strict appeal to intuition without any check against each other.

This is how, for a time, our society supported slavery. The intuition of the slave owners was that the Africans were obviously inferior animals, not worthy of personhood. Had they truly observed what special qualities created personhood, it would have been obvious that the Africans were people.

Posted by: Oliver at November 16, 2008 12:26 AM


Oliver,

I would also think that anyone would hate to live in a world where human rights are determined by strict appeal to intuition without any check against each other.

I like the way you phrased that!

Posted by: Janet at November 16, 2008 12:39 AM


Oh, I think women do fine living in a world ruled by intuition; men-not so much. :)

Posted by: Janet at November 16, 2008 12:47 AM


Your hyperbole 11:50 I can easily ignore because the truth that I speak is being lived out everyday in the destruction of the AA family and community. "Let those with ears to hear, let them hear", I would not expect someone who justifies the pro-death holocaust to care how many black babies are mutilated and trying to justify that with we have higher birthrate is indeed pathetic. Like saying "you Blacks can afford to murder your babies, because you make too many babies in the first place", what a racist bunch of garbage. Pro-aborts will never satisfy their thirst for the shedding of innocent blood on the altar of "choice". Thanks pro-lifers for your discussion on the importance of the right for ALL BABIES to exist.

Posted by: Anonymous at November 16, 2008 9:29 AM


Sorry I was 9:29am forgot to give a name.

Posted by: Save The Babies at November 16, 2008 9:34 AM


Doug: "Oliver, it's not hard to see how our mores are constructed, frequently."

"You more want the unborn life to continue, and I more want women to retain the freedom they now have. "

O: But why? We are on either side dealing with a weighty issue. It is both life versus death and autonomy versus obligation. If I say I am right, I am essentially advocating the notion that a mother does not have full autonomy in the face of her preborn child, which would as you put it, put restraints on her freedom. If you are right, you are saying that the preborn child does not deserve the right to be nourished and sheltered by its mother to the point of death.

In either case we cannot so capriciously say "well ultimately I believe it just because" as you seemed to suggest.

The "why" is because some of our basic assumptions aren't the same. You're placing more importance on life, per se, while I'm putting it on liberty, freedom, suffering, etc. Don't you feel the woman has some duty to keep the pregnancy going? I don't see that society has a compelling need to bring legal force against her anymore than it does to attempt to force women to end wanted pregnancies.
......


Certainly you value justifying your beliefs when they are so serious. I would also think that anyone would hate to live in a world where human rights are determined by strict appeal to intuition without any check against each other.

I'm not sure about the "intution," there - it could go either way - towards life, any life, etc., or toward the thinking, feeling woman who's pregnant.

We're in a society and the bottom line is that we have things in common, and common desires. Overall, we want things to go in certain ways, and if we don't follow along enough with society's dictates then we're going to be "put out" of society, killed or imprisoned.

Likewise, if the dictates of a society are seen as too bad by an individual, then they'll try to change public policy, or even leave that society.
......


This is how, for a time, our society supported slavery. The intuition of the slave owners was that the Africans were obviously inferior animals, not worthy of personhood. Had they truly observed what special qualities created personhood, it would have been obvious that the Africans were people.

I think that even now there are some who would favor slavery, regardless of what they thought about personhood. A small minority, to be sure.

Oliver, I don't think the suffering of the slaves was anywhere nearly matched by the "suffering" of those who lost the right to hold slaves. I also don't think the "suffering" of Pro-Lifers is enough to justify taking away the freedom that women now have in the matter.

Posted by: Doug at November 16, 2008 11:24 AM


Save The Babies: the truth that I speak is being lived out everyday in the destruction of the AA family and community.

Granted that there are problems. But in no way does that mean that a given black woman with an unwanted pregnancy should not have an abortion. There isn't a "shortage" of people and a given woman who has an abortion doesn't create the problems you speak of, nor does she solve them if she continues the pregnancy. This is really not about "everything else," this is about what's best for her.
.....


"Let those with ears to hear, let them hear", I would not expect someone who justifies the pro-death holocaust to care how many black babies are mutilated and trying to justify that with we have higher birthrate is indeed pathetic.

I don't have to "justify" it, and neither does the pregnant woman. It's not up to you to "clear" things, it's up to the woman to make her own best choice.
.....

Like saying "you Blacks can afford to murder your babies, because you make too many babies in the first place", what a racist bunch of garbage.

Well, that's in your mind, not mine. Abortion is not "murder" in the first place. You may not like it, but it's not your opinion that makes for murder or not.

You talk about African-American women and "bondage," but what you want to do is take away some of the freedom they have. If there is "racism" here it's on your part, not anybody else's. I know that the woman is going to know what she wants, doesn't matter what race she is, and you don't have a good enough reason to tell her what to do.
.....


Pro-aborts will never satisfy their thirst for the shedding of innocent blood on the altar of "choice". Thanks pro-lifers for your discussion on the importance of the right for ALL BABIES to exist.

It's the fact that we don't attribute all rights to the unborn that has you upset in the first place. Society does not need every pregnancy continued to the extent that we take away the choice that women now have.

Posted by: Doug at November 16, 2008 11:36 AM


When "freedom" has now become defined by the so-called "right to choose" to take the life of your own child, what a sad state of affairs we have in this nation.

Although, my so called "ranting" will not affect you, but possibly some of the women (Black and white) who everyday are considering taking the lives of their preborn children will read my response as to why even a poor, Black woman in slavery like my great, great grandmother did not consider it her "right" to take her baby's life. I never underestimate the power of a prayful word that respects the sanctity and value of human life. The acceptance of abortion as a solution to alleviate poverty is a relatively new phenomenon in the Black community, it was considered a horrible "sin" until Planned Parenthood was brought "into the hood". Take a look at the movie "A Raisin in the Sun", when the grandmother tells her son "We don't kill our babies".
My foreparents prayed for God to give their children a better life and then taught us about the value of life, faith and family . As long as life is valued, there is hope for a brighter future. Although they did not have an education and lived in poverty they got "it", how precious and valuable life is and that their children were their legacy for a better tomorrow. Too bad you are too deaf to hear and too blind to see, to get "it" I will pray my words will reach those that are reachable.

Posted by: Save The Babies at November 18, 2008 12:00 AM


If a woman reads your words and something changes, then fine.

And you are welcome to your religious beliefs, but in no way do they constitute any good reason for taking away the freedom that women now have.

Make your own best choices and don't expect others not to.

Posted by: Doug at November 18, 2008 10:13 AM


My reasons constitute the BEST reasons for a woman to choose LIFE, because we are "endowed by our Creator with the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" even an ingrate like you should be glad that your mother decided to choose life. Maybe she told you were her property or just a product of conception to choose to get rid of as she pleased, then I understand how you have become so jaded and disrespectful of the gift of life you were given. As long as life is embraced there is hope for the future and I can leave like my great, great grandmother a legacy of love to share with my children and their children for generations to come. I am so glad my poor uneducated great, great, grandmother got "it", I am basking in her love today and I did not even know her. WOW, what a gift she gave me. I feel very sorry for you, Doug. So long.

Posted by: Save The Babies at November 18, 2008 12:01 PM


My reasons constitute the BEST reasons for a woman to choose LIFE, because we are "endowed by our Creator with the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"

Maybe, maybe not. You can't prove anything about a "Creator," so if somebody else believes differently then obviously it doesn't apply to them.
....


even an ingrate like you should be glad that your mother decided to choose life. Maybe she told you were her property or just a product of conception to choose to get rid of as she pleased, then I understand how you have become so jaded and disrespectful of the gift of life you were given.

That's silly. If my mom (or yours) had had an abortion then there never would have been a "you" or "me" to care about anything. There are miscarriages and abortions all the time, and while the miscarriage of a wanted pregnancy can be a very sad thing, the world goes on.
....


As long as life is embraced there is hope for the future and I can leave like my great, great grandmother a legacy of love to share with my children and their children for generations to come. I am so glad my poor uneducated great, great, grandmother got "it", I am basking in her love today and I did not even know her. WOW, what a gift she gave me. I feel very sorry for you, Doug. So long.

Well, life is "embraced" plenty now, and the world population is still rapidly expanding. I'm glad you feel good about your ancestors, but that does not mean we should take away the rights that women now have.

Posted by: Doug at November 19, 2008 8:22 AM